Banana Production Stopped in Bocas

More than 5,000 workers in the banana industry in Bocas del Toro stopped work on Thursday, May 10, Various unions took to the streets and closed the roads in Guabito and Almirante, from 6:00 a.m.

The general secretary of the Trade Union of Workers of the Banana Industry and Related Companies (Sitraibana), Francisco Smith, said that the show of strength was taken  due to the lack of response that the province of Bocatore has had from the government.

Smith said that they decided to carry out pressure actions, closure of roads and deny access to banana plantations in the communities of Almirante, Valle Risco, Changuinola; to Las Tablas, due to the lack of solutions to social problems regarding special pensions".

Presently there are 15 closed points including the road that goes towards Guabito, 

A high-level commission led by the Minister of Labor and Labor Development, Luis Ernesto Carles, and the Minister Minister Temístocles Díaz, are meeting with the groups at the Sitraibana headquarters.

The regional center of Bocas del Toro of the University of Panama reported that it suspended classes as of noon on Thursday due to protests.

UPDATE:  After 20 hours of paralyzing the streets, the workers of the banana plantations reached an agreement with the Government, which occurred this morning,  May 11 in Changuinola.